Sunday, 16 December 2018

ARE MARRIAGES AT LOCAL GOVERNMENT MARRIAGE REGISTRY VALID?

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Recently, a High Court in Lagos gave judgment declaring all certificates issued by Local Governments illegal and unconstitutional.

The rationale behind the judgment is that the form of the marriage certificates issued by the Local Governments bearing the words “Local Government Unified Marriage Certificate” does not comply with the stipulations in Form E of the Marriage Act for a Marriage Certificate. The Judge stated that local governments had no right to act outside the provisions the Marriage Act by issuing modified Marriage Certificates.
By this judgment, all marriage certificates issued by marriage registries in Local Governments or Local Council Development Areas not in accordance with Form E are void and illegal.

The judgment however, does not affect the validity of marriages conducted by Marriage Registries in any of these Local Government Councils. 
However, all certificates which are not in accordance with Form E of the Marriage Act are to be returned to the Local Government Councils from which they were obtained and new ones which are in accordance with the proper format collected from these Local Government Councils.
 
See an example of the correct Marriage Certificate as contained in FORM E of the Marriage Act below:



See a sample of the types of certificates issued in Local Governments below:


Offending areas of the certificate highlighted in red.
 

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